Disclosure: I was provided a WoolyLux footmuff, a Shade-a-ride Sun Shield, an Otteroo neck floatie, and an Elph band to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Spring has (kinda) sprung and after a
freaking miserable long, cold winter, we can finally start to think about long walks and days at the pool. Here are some of my favorite baby products to help ring in the Spring!
As far as I’m concerned, the WoolyLux Tipi footmuff is an absolute necessity for Pennsylvania moms. Made of 100% Australian sheepskin, the WoolyLux Tipi easily attaches to any stroller to keep your little munchkin dry and snuggly in any type of weather. The Tipi simply slips over the stroller’s headrest and stays in place with no slip grips. The Tipi accommodates both 3 and 5 point harnesses, keeping Baby safe and secure.
The WoolyLux Tipi is indeed luxurious. With its thick sheepskin lining, the Tipi keeps Baby warm and snuggly during the colder months, and because the material naturally wicks away moisture, it also keeps Baby comfy and sweat-free during the summer. The WoolyLux Tipi is water-resistant AND windproof, ensuring that Baby is dry and cozy year-round. Outfitted with both toggle buttons and a zipper, the Tipi can be adjusted to suit Baby’s needs. In the frigid winter months, I like to zip and button the Tipi to form a sort of fuzzy cocoon for my kiddos, leaving nothing but their faces exposed. Now that the weather is a little bit warmer, we zip the Tipi to waist level. As the weather gets warmer, the top layer can be completely removed leaving Baby with a super comfy seat liner!
My kids ADORE the WoolyLux (or the ‘baa baa’ as my 1 year-old calls it)! When they see the Tipi, they are instantly excited to get in the stroller. When we’re at home, my daughter even likes to use it as a sleeping bag! She lays the Tipi on the floor and snuggles up inside with a book and a stuffed animal. I adore the WoolyLux too, even though I am left envious as I watch my kids ride along in the lap of luxury! It is beautifully made and incredibly durable. As a mom, to find a children’s product that is stain resistant is pretty damn remarkable. I almost didn’t believe the Tipi’s claim…so I intentionally spilled coffee on it. It. Did. Not. Stain. I mean…truly magical.
I can’t heap enough praise on the Tipi. It allowed us to actually get outside for walks in the wintertime, and provides cozy comfort for my kiddos whenever we use our stroller, no matter the forecast. Perfect for springtime in Philadelphia, the WoolyLux Tipi is most definitely a Mommy Must Have.
Shade-a-Ride Sun Shield
This is one of those products that makes you wonder, ‘How have I existed as a parent without this?’. The Shade-a-Ride falls into my favorite category of baby product: Simple, Yet Brilliant.
The Shade-a-Ride Sun Shield does exactly what its name implies. It provides shade for Baby as he rides along in his stroller. The Shade-a-Ride attaches easily to any stroller with a cross-bar or tray (no umbrella strollers) via Velcro straps, and secures to the stroller’s push bar. It is made from thick vinyl that not only keeps the sun out of Baby’s eyes, but offers heat reduction and UV protection. It also provides a shield from wind and rain as well, which is an added bonus.
I received my Sun Shield in the dead of winter, so I couldn’t wait for the sun to start shining again so that I could try it out. We were finally able to put the Sun Shield to use a few days ago, and I was thrilled with how well it worked! I had no problems attaching it to the stroller. I actually tried it on multiple strollers, and it attached easily to both of our singles and our double. My son was happy as a clam sitting behind his Sun Shield, and I felt great knowing he was both comfortable AND protected. The Sun Shield also meets two of my most important Mommy Criteria: it’s easy to clean and easy to pack. The Sun Shield wipes clean and is incredibly compact when folded, fitting easily into a diaper bag or purse.
Not only is the Sun Shield perfect for walks, but it will be perfect for vacations, Phillies games, concerts in the park – you name it!
The otteroo is a fairly unusual product that yields pretty phenomenal results. It is also apparently very controversial, receiving mixed reactions from parents the world over. You may have seen the otteroo pop up in your social media feeds, undoubtedly with every parent under the sun offering their opinion on the product.
I have to admit, I was both intrigued and skeptical when it came to the o. Having seen the contrast of reactions from different parents, I reached out to the company to form my own opinion. I received my otteroo and anxiously tried it out with my son. Sadly, I have no pictures since I was in the water with him, so use your imaginations.
Designed by a mom with the help of pediatricians, the otteroo is an infant floatie that fits around Baby’s neck and secures with two clasps. It is made of smooth toxin-free plastic, and has a chin rest for added comfort. Openings allow for water drainage, ensuring baby’s splash-free comfort. It does not choke the baby or restrict breathing in any way, and it is only meant to be used with an adult nearby.
The purpose of the otteroo is to help babies develop their range of motion, their muscle strength, and their confidence in water. You see, babies are born accustomed to the water after having lived in fluid for 9 months. When babies are born, they maintain their inherent swimming reflexes until around 4 months when they really start to become acclimated to life ‘on land’ and express a desire to ‘explore’. Some studies indicate that use of an infant neck floatie not only helps transition babies from their initial involuntary ‘water’ reflexes to voluntary ones, but also builds muscle strength, promotes coordination and leads to earlier walking. The otteroo can be used in the tub or the pool, and may be used on infants from 8 weeks on.
I am not a pediatrician, nor was I involved in any buoyant water play studies. Here’s what I know: my son LOVED the otteroo. From the moment I brought the little guy into the water, he was giggling and happy. He clearly enjoyed kicking his legs and waving his arms about in the water, and for about 15 minutes he was happy as can be. Then he was ready to eat. We have used the otteroo several times now with similar success and lots of smiles. Now that he is older, he is very confident being in the water without the floatie. It is definitely a confidence builder!
I completely understand the skepticism that surrounds the otteroo due to it’s unusual appearance, but I encourage Moms with infants to at least give it a try, especially now that pool weather is around the corner! You might be pleasantly surprised by the results, and nothing beats a happy, smiling baby!
Emily’s Tip: otteroo also makes a fantastic bath set that is one of my new favorite baby shower gifts!
Use coupon code 25PHILLY2015 for 25% off all orders on www.otteroo.com through April 15!
The Elph Band is a must for any family planning a trip to a busy boardwalk, amusement park or crowded event this summer. Elph stands for Easy Link to Phone Home, and it does exactly that. The Elph Band is a silicone bracelet (think Livestrong) equipped with a pin number, a QR code, and a toll-free 800 number. In the event your child gets lost or separated from you, he or she can show the band to the nearest adult who can either call the number and enter the pin, or scan the QR code. If the code is scanned, the child’s parent will receive a text alerting them that the bracelet has been scanned, along with an approximate location. If the number is called, it will automatically connect the caller to the parent.
In order to use the Elph Band it must be registered online at the Elph Band website. Here, parents can enter pertinent information such as contact names, phone numbers and addresses, as well as allergies and medical alerts. Parents can control what information is visible to the person that scans the bracelet. The contact information can also be easily changed should your child be spending the weekend at Grandma’s or going somewhere with a friend’s family.
When we received our band, I quickly registered it online. The registration process was easy and fast. From that point on, my daughter has worn her band any time we left the house. Luckily, we’ve never had to actually use the Elph band, but I did try calling the number and scanning the code. Both features worked without a hitch. Obviously, the Elph Band relies on responsible Good Samaritans to function as intended, but the peace of mind it provides is certainly worthwhile.
The Elph Band is a clever, yet nondescript means of keeping important information on your child. It is available in various sizes and colors, and the service can be renewed annually with a small $10 fee. The Elph Band is an excellent precautionary tool to have on hand, that hopefully you’ll never have to actually use!
Stonz Rain Bootz
April is around the corner. If you’re looking for protection from those April showers, look no further than Stonz Rain Bootz. Made in Canada, Stonz makes a rain boot well-equipped to combat the elements. Made of non-toxic natural rubber with a quick drying cotton lining, Stonz Rain Boots are pretty fabulous.
When our Stonz Rain Bootz arrived, my daughter tore into that box like a kid on Christmas. She couldn’t get her purple Bootz on fast enough! Since then, she has demanded to wear them daily, pairing them with everything from jeans to tutus. The Bootz are darling on her little feet, and add a pop of bright color to any outfit. Aside from looking cute, the Bootz have protected her itty bitty feet from sleet, slush, snow and yes, rain. They are perfect for playing outside, and are especially great for puddle-splashing, which happens to be one of my daughter’s favorite pastimes. The cotton lining really does dry remarkably fast, and the boots are easy to clean off in the event of some particularly muddy puddle-splashing. I also appreciated how the wide (but not too wide) opening allowed my daughter to easily get them on and off herself.
There are tons of rain boots available this time of year, but Stonz Rain Bootz really stand out to me as the sturdiest and most durable. Other boots I’ve seen are cute, but flimsy. There’s no question in my mind that the Stonz will last for years, and will be used by multiple children. Between the fun colors, durable quality, effectiveness and the ‘multiple children’ aspect, you certainly get your money’s worth with Stonz Rain Bootz.
Available in sizes for 1 to 10 year-olds, Rain Bootz are available in six colors. There is also the option of adding Linerz, a soft velour-fleece insert that provides extra warmth and cushiness. The Linerz also add some longevity to the Rain Bootz before the brutal winter sets in and it’s necessary to make the switch to snow boots (or Stonz Winter Bootz!).
We love our Rain Bootz, and we know you will too!
We’re giving away a Shade-a-Ride to one lucky Montco Mom. Enter our giveaway below. Good luck!